Biography of Hermann Abert: – German musicologist. His interest in music stems from the influence exerted on him by his father, also a musician and author of operas, seven symphonies and different musical works. From 1890 to 1895 he studied classical and contemporary music in Berlin under the supervision of H. Bellermann, Fleischer and Friedlaender. He obtained his doctorate in Berlin in 1897 with a dissertation on the music of Ancient Greece, and in 1902 completed his habilitation to teach at the University of Halle with a work on the aesthetic bases of medieval melodies.
Biography of Hermann Abert
- Born:- 25 March 1871, Stuttgart, Germany
- Died:- 13 August 1927, Stuttgart, Germany
- Parents:- Johann Joseph Abert
- Education:- Humboldt University of Berlin, Prussian Academy of Sciences, Leipzig University
- Children:- Anna Amalie Abert
- Books:- W.A. Mozart, Die Lehre vom Ethos in der griechischen Musik, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Freischutz Overture
He obtained the position of honorary professor in 1909 and of reader in 1911 in this same university. In 1920 he became a professor at the University of Leipzig (as successor to Riemann) and in 1923 became professor at the University of Berlin (succeeding Kretzschmar). In 1925 he was elected an ordinary member of the Prussian Academy of Science in Berlin, becoming in this way the first musicologist who reached that distinction.
Abert was one of the German musicologists who led his generation and one of those who did more to increase the consideration of his subject among followers of the most traditional disciplines of the university world. Among his most distinguished pupils were his daughter Anna Amalie, Blume, Fellrer, Gerber and Vetter. This early approach to music was especially based on humanitarian ideals of classical antiquity. Abert studied the effect of music on people and the way in which social patterns and cultural ideals were expressed through music of all times.
He later focused on dramatic music and investigated especially in the history of opera, as he was not interested in archival science or in the theoretical aspects of musicology. In recent years he turned his attention to the music of Ancient Greece, with studies that eventually led him to the specific problems of the aesthetics of music in ancient times, the middle Ages and his own era. His interest in the nineteenth century and contemporary music was shown in the works on Beethoven, Schumann, the romantic stage and Meyerbeer, which led him to confront the specific problems of the opera.
He made exemplary editions of major operatic works, most notably his Gluck-Jahrbuch (1913-18) edition, and many monographs (from 1905, including Niccolo Jomeli ALS Opernkomponist, 1908), which preceded his Great biography of Mozart (1919-1921). This was generally carried out according to the tradition of the great musical biographies of the nineteenth century (Jahn, Chrysander and Spitta), but also made use of new methods of investigation.
Abert modestly called to his work the fifth edition of the biographies of Jahn, although it was a totally independent work. He presented Mozart in his royal stature as a musician, in human terms, while revealing a multitude of sources on many aspects of Mozart’s art. Other notable publications were Die Lehre von Ethos im der grieschischen das Musik (1899), Die Musikanschaung Mitelalters (1905), Nijommeli (1908), Eiccini (1913) and Luther und die Musik (1924).